The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released the following statement Tuesday:
We are investigating the claims in today’s lawsuit which involves Francis Hoefgen, a former priest of St. John’s Abbey who served in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the mid-1980’s. In 1992, Hoefegen’s faculties were restricted by the abbey, and he was no longer allowed to serve in public ministry. He was laicized in December 2011.
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis continues to encourage anyone who suspects abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult within Church ministry—or any setting including the home or school—to first contact law enforcement. Any act of abuse against a minor or vulnerable adult is reprehensible and morally repugnant and we will not tolerate it.
Our first priority is to create and maintain safe environments where the Gospel of Jesus Christ can flourish. This means ensuring that clergy, employees, volunteers, and the young are aware of healthy boundaries and the societal problem of sexual abuse. It also means creating an environment for and implementing productive steps to promote a healthy clergy.
Anyone having knowledge of sexual abuse within a parish should call the proper authorities, and is encouraged to notify the archdiocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator at 651-291-4497.